Message from our minister

Posted by Barbara Nadin on 29 April 2019

Dear Friends,

Around the northern hemisphere of the world, May Day is a big thing. It’s firmly spring time, with shades of summer in the air. So, out come the Maypoles and Morris Dancers to crown the Queen of May; labourers from around the world unite to mark International Workers’ Day; and we celebrate the month of May with two Bank Holidays (the earlier of which may or may not fall on 1st May). It’s as if we can breathe a sigh of relief—winter’s finally over (though given British weather you can never be quite so sure)!

Early summer time is blooming marvellous. Literally! Flowers unfurl, their petals fresh; tree branches burst with the greenest of leaves; the air relaxes with soothing warmth. As people of faith, we also can breathe in the new life of the Holy Spirit. After the emotional turmoil of Holy Week comes the celebration of Pentecost—the confirmation and guarantee that we are not alone, God’s Spirit is with us.

In the summer of the Spirit, we see beauty—the continuing activity of God in the world—and we experience the balm of God’s gentle touch.

However, there is a ‘but’. But first we need to breathe. Breathing in the Spirit; breathing out everything that keeps us from truly appreciating the summer of the Spirit—our negativity, our blinkered pride and prejudice. Presents given to us on birthdays, anniversaries and at Christmas don’t stay wrapped up for long. In the same way, God wants us to open the gift He has given us—the gift of life in all its fullness.

Summer is a season of openness, indeed we open the windows of our homes to let the air in. So, in the summer of the Spirit, may we open our lives to allow God into our hearts.

Regards,

Marcus

 

From the URC’s Daily Devotions: Luke 18: 15 - 17

People were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them; and when the disciples saw it, they sternly ordered them not to do it.  But Jesus called for them and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.  Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.’

Reflection

Who has heard someone say ‘children are the Church of the future’? How does it make you feel?  The issue is, they are the Church of now! So often in churches we seek to keep children in their place, we view them as projects to be managed and minds to be shaped until they come of age and can take over from us! Because of course, we have all the answers and we know best……

Jesus’ disciples were chastised for thinking they knew best where children were concerned. They decided that Jesus did not want to be bothered with them and were trying to get those bringing them (most likely the women) to go away.

Like adults, children are co-creators with God. Like adults, children can encounter God and find faith. They do not need to be put in their place, but allowed to be equal partners on our journeys where we can bless and inspire each other and faith can flourish.

Jesus’ teaching reminds us again and again that there is a different way, a way that encourages, builds up, loves unconditionally- a way that builds up God’s kingdom here on earth. And he reminds the disciples and those encountering the Gospel words for the first time, and us too, that to be able to receive the Kingdom we need to be like children.

How do we experience that? Jesus reminds his disciples that the Kingdom belongs to the children: those without status and self-sufficiency. Being received into the Kingdom is a gift of grace, not something earned or striven for. We can only receive the Kingdom if we are prepared to acknowledge our dependence on God (and others) and let go of our need for power and position, and allow God to help us live a faithful life.

Children have a lot to teach us. Let us listen to them, really listen to them. Value them. Love them. And be prepared to learn from them.  

Prayer

Lord Jesus, you love the little children, the old people, the wise, the foolish, the powerful and the weak. Within that love, help us to learn from the children we encounter and take heed of their reliance on help, support, and love. May we accept it graciously, too. Help us to let go of our need for power and status, as we seek to embody you through our lives.

Amen.

Contact Us

Minister - Revd Marcus Hargis - Tel 01332 865426 - email marcushargis@outlook.com

Church Secretary - Margaret Loydall - Tel 01332 862175

Website Co-ordinator (and Church Elder) - Barbara Nadin - Tel 01332 863825

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